How To Make Your Home Equity Useful

Home values continue to rise. Many people use their home equity in order to get a bit more financial security. The home equity line of credit can have many different benefits for you. From home improvement projects to a much-needed vacation, you can get the funds that you need for whatever you wish. Turn to your home equity with some careful thought, however. You could end up owing more than your home is worth, which defeats the purpose of tapping into your home equity to begin with. 

Make Your Decision Smart

Your home equity can be a good thing to tap in to if you’re not planning on spending like crazy. Maybe you just want a little extra cash on hand for emergencies. You’ll be prepared for anything unexpected. This could be a smarter decision than just blowing a bunch of money on a vacation, for example. 

Some smart things that you can use your home equity for include:

  • Home renovations
  • Emergency funds
  • College education funds
  • Cash advance

These ideas are investments that can help you to achieve other goals. You should be sure that you’re able to pay the money back. These projects or financial endeavors are much more suited to smart spending than just randomly spending money, buying a car, or other things that will put you in serious debt.

Home Equity Fluctuates


As the market changes, the amount of home equity that you’ll have to tap into does as well. The state of the housing market can actually dictate to you how much money you’ll be able to get. If the market isn’t good, you could end up in the negative financially, so do your research. 

How To Get Your Home Equity

There are a few ways that you can draw from your home’s equity. The first rule that you should understand is that you cannot borrow more than 80% of what your home is worth. Take a full remortgage your home, giving you the full 80% amount that your home is worth in order to take a lump sum. Alternatively, you can take a cash-out refinance where you set the amount of money you’d like to take out of your home’s equity as you refinance the home. You can also take out what’s called a “home equity line of credit,” which allows you to use the amount of your home’s worth as a credit card of sorts. You borrow money as you need it.     

The biggest issue with refinancing is that of planning. It’s important to know why you’re refinancing and what you’re planning on doing with the money. Used wisely, home equity can really be a great financial tool.

How To Choose The Right Area Rugs For Your Home

If your home has hardwood floors, you’re going to want to put carpets in and around the home. This helps to warm the space up both visually and physically. How do you know what size area rug to choose or what colors to choose? It’s quite simple. There are a few rules of thumb that you should know in order to help you choose the right rug for each room of the home. 

First, you’ll need to measure the seating area. You’ll select the rug that’s the closest size up from those measurements. Choose the next size up from that so all of your furniture can rest on the rug. Alternatively, you can set the room up so that no furniture rests on the rugs and the carpet simply sits in front of the furniture. This is all a matter of taste.  

Fill The Room With A Rug

You can fill an entire room with a rug as well. Just measure the room and subtract a 2-foot perimeter around the room for floor space. 

Layer Your Rugs For A Great Visual Effect


You can create more definition in your room by layering rugs. You can put a smaller rug on top of a larger rug for something a bit visually interesting in the room. Smaller rugs help to define a seating area, so you would layer those rugs on top of a larger rug.

Furniture Movers

Placing movers or sliders under furniture is more than just for rearranging a room. These little disks help to protect both your hardwood floors and your carpets. You’ll have floors free from scratches, tears, and scuffs. If you think that furniture can’t ruin carpets, think again!  

Dining And Kitchen        

For rugs in your dining area, the carpet should surround your table. The rug needs to extend out a bit beyond the focal point of the room. Measure about two feet beyond your table as a good rule of thumb. 

In the kitchen, make sure that your rugs are slip resistant. Put rugs near the places that you tend to stand the most like the sink and oven. You could put several area rugs in the kitchen to create a warmer feel in the room without making it hard to clean. 

Bedroom

In your bedroom, one of the most important purposes for a rug is having a soft, warm place for your feet in the morning. An area rug should extend out at least two feet beyond the bed itself, which is the focal point of the room. If you’re using smaller rugs, place them strategically so that your feet are warm yet the bed is still the main visual focus in the room. 

Color Choice

Remember that your rug should be an accent to a room. Your walls are the dominant color and your rug will only add to the beauty. Pick a color that blends well with the rest of the scheme of the room.

Help Choosing the Right Driveway

Your driveway is the first amenity that people see when they visit. When you bought your house, you may have only seen your driveway as a place to park your vehicle.But, a driveway is more than that. A driveway is often a property border,dividing you and your neighbor’s yards. It’s one of the largest visuals that make up your house’s curb appeal. Your driveway is where you start to feel at home.

Which of these 5 driveways is right for you?

Choose the right driveway and you could buy a house that generates a quality sale should you decide to move. Choose the right driveway and you can provide your children ample room to play safely away from the street and your growing front or back lawn. Following are five popular driveways to check out before you buy a house or upgrade your house with a new driveway.

Brick driveway – This is an elegant driveway that has an artistic appeal. Clay bricks come in a rainbow of colors and sizes. These driveways have been around for centuries. Straight, round and curving are shapes that a brick driveway come in. Install a brick driveway and you can expect the paving to last for about 25 years.

Cobblestone driveway – If you love natural stones, a cobblestone driveway might be best. Primary shapes that cobblestone driveways are laid in are long, curvy, straight and square. A cobblestone driveway can extend a quarter mile from the street to your house’s front steps. They resemble brick driveways and are smooth and flat, not at all a bumpy ride as you drive to your house.

Concrete driveway – Live in the suburbs and you might see house after house lined with a concrete driveway. Concrete driveways are a popular suburban choice. As with sidewalks, a downside to a concrete driveway is that it can bubble or crack. An upside is that a concrete driveway can be installed in reds, browns and traditional grays.

Gravel driveway – Attend several sporting events at large outdoor stadiums, and there’s a good chance that you’ve driven over a gravel driveway. You won’t have to worry about repaving a gravel driveway. What you will have to deal with is bits of gravel popping into your boots or shoes.

Asphalt driveway – An asphalt driveway is expensive to lay. There are heavy and lighter grades of blacktop that can be used when laying an asphalt driveway. Choose a quality sealer and your asphalt driveway can remain strong, absent cracks, for years. If your asphalt driveway develops cracks, you can fill in the cracks instead of resealing the entire driveway.

Although it’s not attached to your home, your driveway plays a factor in your house’s overall value. Think about your driveway as more than a place to park your vehicles. See your driveway as part of your home. Wash away stains and clean your driveway. To care for your driveway, also check for cracks and apply sealers as needed.

How Credit Affects Mortgages

Credit is tied to most big financial decisions you will make in your life. From things as little as opening up a store card at the mall to buying your first home, your credit score is going to play a factor.

When it comes to mortgages, lenders take your credit score, particularly your FICO score, into consideration in determining the interest rate that you will likely be stuck with for years.

How is your credit score determined and what can you do to use it to get a better rate on your mortgage? We’ll cover all of that and more in this article.

Deciphering credit scores

Most major lenders assign your credit score based on the information provided by three national credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These companies report your credit history to FICO, who give you a score from 300 to 850 (850 being the best your score can get).

When applying for a mortgage (or attempting to be pre-approved for a home loan), the lender you choose will weight several aspects to determine if they will lend money to you and under what terms they will lend you the money. Among these are your employment status, current salary, your savings and assets, and your credit score.

Lenders use this data to attempt to determine how likely you are to pay off your debt. To be considered a “safe” person to lend money to it will require a combination of things, including good credit.

What is good credit? Credit scores are based on five components:

  • 35%: your payment history
  • 30%: your debt amount
  • 15%: length of your credit history
  • 10%: types of credit you have used
  • 10%: recent credit inquiries (such as taking out new loans or opening new credit cards)

As you can see, paying your bills and loans on time each month is the key factor in determining your credit score. Also important, however, is keeping your total amount of debt low.

Most aspects of your credit score are in your control. Only 10% of your score is determined by the length of your credit history (i.e., when you opened your first card or took out your first loan).

To build your credit score, you’ll need to focus on lowering your balances, making on-time payments, and giving yourself time to diversify your credit.

What does this mean for taking out mortgages?

A higher credit score will get you a lower interest rate. By the time you pay off your mortgage, just a hundred points on your credit score could save you thousands on your mortgage, and that’s not including the money you might save by getting lower interest rates on other loans as well.

If you would like to buy a home within the next few years, take this time to focus on building your credit score:

  • If you have high balances, do your best to lower them
  • If you have a tendency to miss payments, set recurring reminders in your phone to make sure you pay on time
  • If you don’t have diverse credit, it could be a good time to take out a loan or open your first credit card

When it comes time to apply for a mortgage, you’ll thank yourself for focusing more on your credit score.